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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Chris Burnett, a former right-handed pitcher, returned to the Lipscomb University campus this past week to participate in the Alumni and Friends Baseball Weekend hosted by Bisons coach Jeff Forehand and his staff. Approximately 50 former Bisons, many accompanied by their families, were part of the event which included a golf tournament, home run derby and a barbecue lunch. Burnett made the trek from Wellington, Fla. While on campus he spent some time talking with Lipscombsports.com.
What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?
"I played baseball at Lipscomb in 2007 and 2008. Jeff Forehand was my coach.
"I transferred from Palm Beach Community College in West Palm Beach, Fla."
What was your major?
"In 2010 I received my MBA in organizational leadership from Lipscomb.
"After I finished playing baseball I was a graduate assistant working in the weight room.
"I worked for John Hudy and Will Osburn. They both have a great work ethic. I talk to them at least once or twice a month. They had a very strong influence on me."
Why did you choose Lipscomb?
"The baseball. The Christian atmosphere. The family-oriented feel on campus. It was where I wanted to be.
"I looked at a good amount of schools. I was looking for something specific. I was looking for a place where I wanted to be and a place that I wanted to have a relationship with. Lipscomb fit perfectly."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"The easy one to go to would be the 2008 Atlantic Sun Conference Champion and going to the NCAA Regional in Athens, Ga.
"But my favorite memories were the bus rides, especially the 13-hour drive back from winning the conference championship. It was something I looked forward to. It was a great atmosphere. All of the guys were great.
"You remember a couple of games here and there. But the bus rides and the bond you build with your teammates are the memories that last forever."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"It has to be Coach Forehand. He didn't recruit me, but he came to Lipscomb in my first year.
"He immediately was a coach you wanted to play for. He is a player's coach. He wanted to help you as best he could whether it was on the field or off of the field.
"He is a family guy. Energetic. He wants to win. But it is more important for him to make you a better person as well as a better baseball player.
"He played a major role in my life. I try and emulate him now when I coach."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"I guess it was the relationships you built in the classroom with your fellow students and the professors.
"Everyone was willing to help you whether it was a student or a professor. The atmosphere around the whole campus was something that was very nice."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"You want to try to live your life as close to Christ as you can. Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. We are all going to do things that aren't Christ-like.
"But trying to be Christ-like is the most important thing. I try to do it the best I can. I know I am not perfect, but none of us are.
"I had always had a Christian background. I grew up in church. But this school helped me build by relationship with God. When I got here this school gave me a purpose.
"I hope that I can help someone out the way Lipscomb helped me and better their life."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Dr. Mike Kendrick. I think I had him in four or five classes in undergraduate and graduate school.
"My relationship with him was great. He was an Alabama fan. I was a Florida State fan.
"He taught me so much in the classroom that I relate to the business world now. I owe him a tremendous amount.
"He related everything to life…it wasn't straight textbook. That helped me tremendously."
Where do you live now?
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I coach the junior varsity baseball team at my old high school, Wellington High School. I also coach my nephew's T-ball team.
"I am an insurance adjuster for Assurant Specialty Property. If someone has a claim I go out and verify the loss."
Tell us about your family.
"I am single."
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.